Creole & Pidgin

What kinds of subject headings are used for works on Creole/Pidgin dialects?

The Library of Congress considers Creole languages to be “pidgin languages that have become established as the native language of a speech community” (LC Classification Schedule Scope Note) and enters works on Creole languages under the subject heading Creole dialects. The subject headings Pidgin languages and Languages, Mixed are broader terms encompassing Creole languages.

Pidgin languages is the correct subject heading for works discussing lingua francas which are native to none of the members of a speech community using them and which have a simplified grammar and mixed vocabulary.

Languages, Mixed is the proper subject heading for works “discussing languages resulting from the intermingling of phonological, grammatical and/or lexical elements from different languages in areas of intensive language contact,” according to the LC Classification Schedule scope note. This term is used for the terms Gobbledygook, Hybrid languages, Jargons, and Mixed languages.

Finally, works considering “auxiliary, sometimes mixed, languages used among groups having no other language in common are entered under the heading Lingua francas. This term is used for the terms Contact vernaculars, Linguae francae, Trade languages, and Vehicular languages.

Lingua francas is the broadest of these terms. Lingua francas, Pidgin languages and Creole dialects may be subdivided geographically. Furthermore, Creole dialects is sometimes qualified by the root language.

  • For example:
  • Creole dialects – Indonesia
  • Creole dialects – Malaysia
  • Creole dialects – Singapore
  • Creole dialects, Arabic
  • Creole dialects, Danish
  • Creole dialects, Dutch
  • Creole dialects, English
  • Creole dialects, English — Australia
  • Creole dialects, English — Florida
  • Creole dialects, English — Georgia
  • Creole dialects, English – South Carolina
  • Creole dialects, English – Suriname
  • Creole dialects, French
  • Creole dialects, French – Brazil
  • Creole dialects, French – – Haiti
  • Creole dialects, French – New Caledonia
  • Creole dialects, Malay — Indonesia
  • Creole dialects, Portuguese
  • Creole dialects, Spanish

Some Creole languages that have their own subject headings include:

  • Ambonese Malay dialect
  • Betawi dialect
  • Djuka language
  • Karipuna creole dialect
  • Krio language
  • Kriol language
  • Michif language
  • Saramaccan language
  • Sea Islands Creole language (replaces “Gullah dialect” as subject heading)
  • Sranan language
  • Tayo language

Subject headings for Pidgin languages include:

  • Pidgin languages
  • Pidgin languages – Acadia – History
  • Pidgin languages – Arctic regions – Congresses
  • Pidgin languages – History
  • Pidgin languages – India
  • Pidgin languages — Study and teaching (Higher)
  • Pidgin languages – Suriname
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